Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Holiday Plans

Thanksgiving is probably my favorite holiday because compared to Christmas it is not as commercialized as that most holy of holidays. I do love Christmas, just not all the hoopla and madness. These last few years I'm more drawn to the real giving aspect of Christmas - Lottie Moon, Good Shepherd, Baptist Children's Home, Heifer Project.

But Thanksgiving is just at the edge of the leaves and the weather turning, gathering in, gathering family. We are a small family, both mine and Paul's, but we try to see everyone we can. That usually involves us traveling to where most of them are and taking food instead of inviting the whole clan to our house and having to sleep in the recliners, which we have done, but we're getting more mature and our beds fit us better. Anyway, his mother can't travel any more, so Aunt Ginny cooks, Marsha cooks and this year Sher has an organic turkey she's taking to Mike and Marsha's. Amy will probably have to work, but we'll stop and take her to Thanksgiving lunch - that's what we did last year. If she doesn't have to work and can go, we'll eat with Aunt Ginny. The last two years we have gone to Sher's house for Thanksgiving, but this year we'll all be at Mike's on TG evening. That's the Plan.

Christmas is still unplanned. Last year we were at Amy's house in Memphis and this year - I don't know... Maybe Mike's will be the gathering place for "my" side. The traditional Christmas Breakfast was at David's last year, and we haven't heard the Plan for it this year. It doesn't matter to me. As long as we are together for even a little while, even for a cup of hot chocolate or coffee or one more piece of pie or cake. I don't care about the gifts, really. We don't need anything. One year we did little toy gifts and that was fun. Some years we've drawn names in my family and some years we haven't. The less planning the better. The less exhausted running the better. The simpler the better. Just let me sit with my family and nod in the warmth of their homes, listen to ballgames on TV, listen to the fading chatter of their wonderful voices as I doze. I can remember not too many years ago when we'd be at Paul's house, they would all be talking about people they'd known for a hundred years and the comforting hum of their voices would just put me nearly to sleep before I'd go back to one of the bedrooms and snuggle under one of Mama Nick's quilts. One year I went to the night service with Aunt Ginny at her church. It was just after she had totaled her car by pulling into someone's path, but I got in her new car with her at night and she drove to Harmony Methodist Church. Aunt Ginny is 87 I think. Or 88. It was wonderful. I used to make all sorts of goodies, decorate coffee cans, pack them full of homemade cookies and almond bark covered pretzels and take them to our familie's homes. Daddy Nick's favorite was the crisscross peanut butter cookies I used to make from Polly Jones's yellow cake mix recipe. Mama Nick used to make an orange slice cake; Mama would make all kinds of desserts, and always my favorite sweet potato pie. She always had little candy dishes of M&M's - plain and peanut that Paul would constantly munch on.

Did I say Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday? It's a holiday any time we can be with our families.

Hoping you all have wonderful times with your families.

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